Companion planting is a great way to deter pests without spraying nasty chemicals onto your garden.

Every Easter, I’m in charge of the veggie roast. That means my hubby and I get to hit up local Orlando farmers markets or farm stands on Easter weekend to pick out the goods. This year, we hit up a teeny stand near my in-laws’ house. We got more veggies than the seven of us could eat for under $10. Amazing! We also got to talking with the fellow who ran the stand. He was explaining that some of his onions were a little stained on one side, since the farm grows them alongside their strawberries to ward off pests. This was my introduction into companion planting.

I knew that marigolds would help keep certain bugs away from the garden, but that’s about as far as my companion planting knowledge went. Here’s a list of some other great plant pairings to help keep your garden pest- and chemical-free!

  • Elder Flower is said to deter mice.
  • Peppermint or bay leaf keeps ants away.
  • Plant chives near your apples to prevent the apples from scabbing.
  • Anise helps keep aphids away.
  • Thyme will keep worms and flies off of your cabbage.
  • Petunias will help keep those beetles off of your bean plants.
  • Geraniums keep pests off of roses, grapes, corn, and cabbage.
  • Plant oregano near your broccoli, cauliflower, and cucumbers to keep all sorts of baddies away.
  • Basil will keep all sorts of pests off of your tomatoes and asparagus.
  • Onion isn’t just great for your strawberries. It can also keep pests off of broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, beets, and lettuce!

This list is hardly exhaustive. I’m just starting to read up on companion planting! Not only can you plant things to discourage pests, some pairings, like planting chamomile near your onions, improves your harvest’s flavor. Is anyone here into companion planting? I’d love to get some more first-hand tips!

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Randen Pederson.